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'You watch this space,' says Ramaphosa on revival of NPA, Sars, SAPS

The president said the government has acted to stabilise and restore the credibility of the NPA, SARS, the State Security Agency and the South African Police Service.

A screengrab of President Cyril Ramaphosa delivering his State of the Nation Address in the National Assembly in Parliament on 7 February 2019.

CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation Address on Thursday night said that the government has acted to stabilise and restore the credibility of the NPA, SARS, the State Security Agency and the South African Police Service.

He said government had to deal with the effects of state capture on vital state institutions, including our law enforcement agencies.

"We have appointed a new NDPP, Advocate Shamila Batohi, to lead the revival. She has been charged with leading the revival of the NPA," he said.

Ramaphosa adds that the State Security Agency will be reconfigured. It will comprise two arms - one for foreign and one for domestic intelligence.

Based on a report and recommendations of the high-level review panel on state security agencies, a number of steps will be announced to reconstitute a truly professional national capability whose tasks will defend and protect the people of South Africa and not party officials.

"Among the steps will be the re-establishment of the National Security Council, to be chaired by the president to ensure better coordination of intelligence and security-related functions of the state.

"We’ll also re-establish the two arms of our national service; one focusing on domestic and the other on foreign intelligence."

#SONA2019: FIVE TASKS THE PRESIDENT NEEDS US TO UNDERSTAND

The president identified five urgent tasks facing the country at this moment. These tasks, he says, will underpin everything we will do this year.

Working together, he says that we must undertake the following tasks:

  1. We must accelerate inclusive growth and job creation.

  2. Our history demands we should improve the education system and the skills we need to move into the future.

  3. We are duty-bound to improve the lives of South Africans, especially poor South Africans.

  4. We have no choice but to step up the fight against corruption and state capture.

  5. We need to strengthen the capacity of the state to address the needs of the people.

BUSINESS CONSTRAINTS

As part of ongoing work to remove constraints to greater investment, Ramaphosa has established a team from the Presidency, Invest South Africa, National Treasury, Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation that will address the policy around legal, regulatory and administrative barriers.

This will improve the ease of doing business in South Africa. The team will report to the Cabinet monthly.

The World Bank has placed South Africa number 82 out of 190 that they have tracked with regards to doing business efficiently.

Ramaphosa says they want to be within the top 50 global performers within the next three years.

EXPANSION OF TOURISM SECTOR

Ramaphosa says that efforts to market South Africa as a prime destination for tourist has yielded significant results.

“In 2018, 10 million tourists came to South Africa. We intend to raise this to 21 million by 2030, targeting the largest and fastest growing markets, such as India and China, as well as strong markets of our own continents.”

The industry could generate as many as 2 million additional jobs in food and agriculture, transport, retail as well as creative some cultural industries by 2030.

Ramaphosa says they will deepen the partnership between the government and businesses.

He adds the priority for 2019 will be the introduction of a world-class e-visa regime.

Ramaphosa says South Africa has one of the longest coastlines spanning 3,000km. Our mere positioning as a country means we can harness the potential of our oceans to grow our economy.

WATER CRISIS

Ramaphosa says South Africa is developing a comprehensive integrated national plan that will address water shortages, aging infrastructure and poor project implementation.

He adds that they are establishing an inter-governmental rapid response technical team, reinforced by professionals, to intervene in areas that are experiencing severe water problems.

In one of these areas, Giyani, extensive work is currently underway to get water to the residents in the immediate term through the repair of boreholes and rapid provision of proper infrastructure.

SCHOOL SANITATION FACILITIES

Nearly 4,000 schools still have inappropriate sanitation facilities.

"Given the scale and urgency of the problem, we launched the safety initiative in August 2018, through which we mobilise all available resources including pledges from the business sector, strategic partners and building industry to replace all unsafe toilets from public schools."

Ramaphosa says that since the launch of the project, 699 schools have been provided with safe appropriate sanitation. And a further 1,150 school are either in planning, design or construction phase.

He says the government is determined to eradicate unsafe and inappropriate sanitation facilities within the next three years.

DIGITAL AGE

To prepare South Africa for the digital age there must be the prioritisation and development of skills.

With over 700,000 children accessing early childhood education in the last financial year, the government has established a firm foundation for a comprehensive early childhood development (ECD) programme, that’s an integral part of the education system.

In 2019, the responsibility for ECD centres will be migrated from Social Development to the Basic Education Department.

"The government will proceed with the process towards two years of compulsory ECD for all children before they go to grade one," says Ramaphosa.

He adds that preparations have been put in place, and they’re ready to take off.

Ramaphosa says they aim to improve reading comprehension in the first year of school.

"This is essential in equipping children to succeed in education, in work and in life. And it’s possibly the single most important factor in overcoming poverty, unemployment, and inequality."

Every child in school, in South Africa, will be provided with digital workbooks and textbooks on a tablet device.

Ramaphosa says they will start with schools that have been historically disadvantaged.

In line with framework for skills, the government will expand the training of both educators and learners to respond to emerging technological technologies, including the internet of things, robotics and AI.

Several new technology subjects and specialisation will be introduced, including technical mathematics, technical science, maritime science, aviation studies and aquaponics.

To expand participation in the technical streams, several public schools will be transformed into technical high schools.

FREE HIGHER EDUCATION

Ramaphosa says links have been re-established with higher education institutions and that institution heads and student leaders have played a critical role in communicating with students.

The scheme is being phased in over a five-year period, until all undergraduate students, who qualify in terms of the criteria, can benefit.

Stabilising the business processes of NSFAS will be a priority in the coming year so that it’s properly capacitated to carry out its critical role supporting eligible students.

READ: President Ramaphosa's Sona 2019 full speech

President Cyril Ramaphosa&#... by on Scribd

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